WWE accused of 'exploiting' MH17 air crash at Battleground
"You blame Russia for the recent events?!"
The WWE has drawn criticism after it appeared to reference the Mayalsia Airlines MH17 tragedy to get heat for pro-Russian character Rusev during his match with American patriot Jack Swagger at Battleground.
Rusev, characterised as a Vladimir Putin-worshipping "brute" who wants to "crush" the USA, was accompanied to the ring by his manager Lana, who during a speech designed to enrage the crowd, asked incredulously: "You blame Russia for the recent events?!"
Read more: WWE Battleground 2014 results
It was tasteless, but no surprise for a wrestling fan that the WWE referenced the MH17 crash
Lana (real name Catherine Joy Perry from Gainesville, Florida), didn't specifically mention MH17, but given the debate currently raging about Russia's culpability in the crash, the audience clearly took it as a direct reference.
The comments were immediately met with a backlash on Twitter, being labelled a "cheap shot".
Rusev went on to win the match.
Fans had been speculating on how the latest development in world news would be reflected in the Russia vs USA feud, which has been raging for weeks in the run up to the pay-per-view, with one user concluding following the match: "Wondered how WWE would handle the MH17/Rusev thing. Didn't expect this," as another added: "I was worried they would [still reference it], but I'm still shocked."
The fallout could force the WWE to scrap the Rusev storyline, as was the case with former superstar Muhammad Hassan, a character with Arabic roots bemoaning Muslim stereotypes who was axed following a controversial terrorism storyline.
Latest in Sport
QPR vs Arsenal match report: Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez on the scoresheet for the Gunners
Newcastle 0 Manchester United 1: Louis van Gaal describes performance as 'maybe our best match of the season'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Newcastle vs Manchester United match report: Ashley Young scores late winner as Angel Di Maria fails to shine yet again
Arsenal's Gabriel suffers 36th-minute hamstring injury and is subbed off...Twitter reacts
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 4 African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has become known a...
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales / Account Manager is re...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Software Application Developer (C# & ASP.Net, SQL S...